As I searched for my answers I learned a lot about God and life and the beauty of the Catholic faith in regards to death. I want to share these thoughts with you and I hope that you find them as comforting as I did.
I learned that life throws us trials that we cannot handle, but God swoops in, offering us the graces we need to get through and even flourish through our trials and tribulations. He will always give us the graces we need to walk the path He has laid out before us.
I was devastated that Jenni will not know us, I thought of all the things I would never teach her. I would never nurse her at my breast, I would never hold her in my arms. She would never play with her sisters, but I was reminded that she beholds the face of the Father. She will never know pain; she will never sin. The church assures us that the saints in heaven know us who are still on earth. They can pray for us, intercede for us to the father. My child knows who I am, she knows she is loved, and one day we will meet in heaven and spend eternity getting to know each other. I often imagine her playing among the most beautiful flowers with the other Holy Innocents. I imagine her chasing butterflies, or curling up next to Jesus for a lesson, or sitting with Noah to hear about the "big boat" with all the animals.
My Lord, the baby is dead!
Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?
“Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why. You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”
I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death. I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.
-- Mother M. Angelica
Finally, I learned that my suffering need not be in vain. I can offer my suffering to Jesus, join my suffering to His. All suffering has value and I can offer my suffering for my personal intentions, for atonement for my sins, and for the grace of faith for loved ones.
These thoughts have not erased the pain I feel at losing my Jenni, but give me hope that her short life, barely begun and my suffering are not for naught. It serves a purpose that only the father knows.
In loving memory of my Sweet Jennifer Grace. Until we met again, my angel...